Coming off a huge win against the Florida Panthers earlier in the week, the Calgary Flames were in Edmonton to face the Oilers in the season’s second edition of the Battle of Alberta, and first since the Flames’ season opener back in October.
The reeling Oilers looked to get back into the win column after an embarrassing 6-0 loss to the Panthers just two days ago.
The Flames dictated the pace of play in the first period, riding waves of solid shifts to a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Their first goal came midway through the period off the stick of Matthew Tkachuk. He deflected home a rebound off a shot from Elias Lindholm to put the Flames ahead. It was Tkachuk’s 18th of the season, tying him for the team lead in goals with Andrew Mangiapane.
Milan Lucic doubled the Flames’ lead in the final minute of the period, tipping in a point shot from Noah Hanifin on the power play. After one period, the Flames were sitting pretty and outshot the Oilers 19-13.
The second period belonged to the Oilers.
In penalty trouble the whole period, the Oilers managed to get back into the game utilizing their lethal power play. Just over five minutes into the second period, Evan Bouchard scored off a blistering slap shot to put the Oilers on the board. Under four minutes later, Bouchard scored again, this time off a wrist shot with several screens in front to beat Jacob Markstrom and eve the game at two. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl assisted on both goals. It was the first tow-goal game of Bouchard’s young career.
With under two minutes left to play, Brendan Perlini gave the Oilers their first lead of the game off a sneaky wrister that beat Markstrom.
However, the Flames managed to even things up just under a minute later off a knuckler from Hanifin that beat Koskinen low. The two rivals entered the second intermission tied at three, but the Oilers outscored the Flames 3-1 and outshot them 12-11 in the second period. McDavid also drew a penalty on the last shift of the period to give the Oilers a power play to open the third.
The tides had shifted.
The Oilers didn’t score on their opening power play, but after a very back-and-forth period that saw Mikko Koskinen in particular make some absolutely sensational saves, Draisaitl capitalized on a nice rush to out-wait Markstrom and beat him for the go-ahead goal. Jesse Puljujarvi interfered with Oliver Kylington on the rush but it wasn’t called and the goal stood.
Draisaitl added an empty netter in the final second of the game to close things off at 5-3.
Koskinen was phenomenal in this game, stopping 44 Flames shots, 34 scoring chances, and 15 high danger chances. He kept the Oilers in a game where they were outplayed considerably by the Flames and, as has been the case for several years, the Oilers stars willed them to a victory.
Game visualizations are below!
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